Communication is taking place online with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, this leaves opportunities for some individuals to abuse this form of communication. Whether this includes derogatory remarks or contact that is just unwelcome. You do not have to suffer in silence. There are many organisations to talk to for advice and the police are trained in dealing with online harrassment. Don’t allow unwelcome communication – do something about it.
What is harassment?
Harassment is any unwelcome comments (written or spoken) or conduct which:
- violates an individual’s dignity; and/or
- creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Harassment can take many forms including verbal abuse, online insults, violence, threats, abuse, and damage to property. It can involve verbal abuse and name calling, offensive graffiti or post and can be received via text message, emails or social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace.
It may cause physical injury, mental stress, anxiety, or insecurity. It can also occur for a variety of reasons, including race, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Harassment is a criminal offence. If you are being harassed, report it.
What can I do about it?
- Discussing your problems will make a difference and help you to think through how to sort them out.
- Let someone know what is happening. This may include friends, parents, a carer, a teacher, an organisation or the police.
- Fill out a self-reporting form, using the form contained on this website.
- Report what is happening online, using the facility on the ‘Reporting online’ page.
Tell someone if you are being bullied or harassed, or know someone who is, and if it is because of disability, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation.
Don’t be afraid to tell someone and don’t suffer in silence: if you cannot get anyone to listen to you, contact a support organisation who can offer you advice and support.
How will the Police treat a bullying or harassment incident?
Don’t be afraid to report bullying or harassment to the police. You will be taken seriously. The police deal with this regularly and can offer you help and support.
If the bullying or harassment is targeted at you because of your disability, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation, this type of incident is a ‘hate incident’ or ‘hate crime’.
What you tell the police will be dealt with sensitively and professionally.
Never allow bullies and unscrupulous people to get the better of you.
Source and for more information: http://www.report-it.org.uk/bullying_and_harassment
Photo by Miss Blackflag
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